Institute of Social Ecology (SEC), Department of Economic and Social Sciences BOKU - Univ. of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria
Guo’s PhD project focuses on rural communities and their resource practices. She aims to uncover actor relational identities and their relation dynamics in their lived social-ecological complexities, thereby to identify barriers to and enablers of rethinking and transformation of these for more socially and environmentally just resource management. In doing so, she explores ways to help engender collaborative actions in building social-ecological resilience in rural communities.
She is ready to lean into the discomfort of vulnerabilities to learn about resilience.
Guo’s story has been one of transition, from an undergraduate trained in biomedical engineering to a PhD fellow exploring social science guided courses to become a change agent.
She completed her bachelor’s degree at the Medical School of the Sun Yat-Sen University in China, then the master’s in Sustainable Resource Management at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Before committing to the RECOMS project, she worked as a Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) analyst in Munich for almost 4 years, focused specifically on the environmental, social, and governance issues in the extractive and electronics industries.
Also goes by the name of her favorite month, ‘April’, she finds shelter in reading and writing letters.
Rural male and youth outmigration brings about a range of transformations in rural communities. In particular, women and the elderly who remain in the rural areas need to adapt their decision making processes as well as their daily practices of managing shared natural resources. This project will focus on identifying the conditions and the processes that promote changes in practices. It will also assess how the changes affect the conditions and ability of different groups of women to use and care for collectively managed natural resources, and to benefit from their use. To better understand what hampers or enables resourceful practices, special attention will be given to the (changes in) relationships between women and natural resources, as well as the relationships between different groups within the community. The project will also assess the extent to which the changes are based on local priorities and needs, all the while fostering relational links across space, i.e. the ability to address local issues while taking into account wider systemic dynamics. The aim of the project is thus to contribute to a better understanding of rural communities’ ability to engage in a collective change process.